Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Linky Party #8

I love this quick easy cake.  It always vanishes quickly in our home.

lemon poppy seed cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 small box lemon pudding
2 tea spoons poppy seeds
3 tbs flour
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs

Bake at 350* for 40 minutes in a bunt pan or 9x13
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Its really starting to get COLD in the mornings, in the shade, when there's a breeze and at night... so pretty much all the time.  I thought I'd share a drinky linky for Almond Hot Chocolate over at Adorned From Above.  Go check it out and tell them I sent you.
Almond Hot Chocolate

Last week was pretty slow on the blog.  My husband and I were celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary at a nice bed and breakfast.  It was a much need (and deserved- if I may say so) break.  Our real anniversary is actually this weekend, but it was better timing to celebrate last weekend.  So that's my excuse for not inviting more to join the linky last week.

I'm starting my new job on Monday... so that will probably slow me down on the blog a bit too.  I will do the best I can to keep up with.  Wish me luck I guess, I will need it.

Thanks for linking up!
Linked To:
Fluster Buster

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


28 oz canned tomatoes*
1 1/2 tbs Olive Oil
6 tbs water
1/2 Italian Seasonings
1-2 cloves Garlic
1/4 tsp Garlic Pepper
1 tbs cider vinegar
Fresh Basil
Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Let simmer and reduce for about 1/2 an hour.

bruschetta photo 20131020_191724.jpg
* I think I may have had a light bulb turned on here.  If you don't believe me, try it out yourself.  Normally when a recipe calls for diced tomatoes I just buy them that way.  But after attending this cooking class I have changed my mind.  Try buying canned whole tomatoes and then either cut them up with scissors inside the can or squish them with your hands if you want to.  Either way, the whole tomatoes taste so much better than the diced ones.  I used to buy the store brand, but I've also been convinced that Hunts brand is the best.

1 baguette sliced into 1/4" pieces
olive oil
good salt
 Brush both sides of bread and season lightly.  Bake about 10-12 minutes.

Drinky~ Apple Juice and Sprite (aka zombie juice)

Please come linky with me!  Add anything family friendly you'd like to share.  Link back to me in your original post and be sure to visit other linkers  :)  Feel free to share or invite others to link up too.  I would especially love for you to link up APPETIZERS FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES if possible, but anything goes. 

Last weeks winner was spiked-monster-halloween-cocktail
Thanks for linking up Liz!

Linked To:
Fluster Buster

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Dinner

Our friends started this tradition with us several years ago and our kids love it.  You bake your dinner in a pumpkin!  We usually do the homemade root beer with it too.

Choose a pumpkin that will fit in your dinner, but that will be big enough to fill with dinner.
Draw a face on your pumpkin with magic marker.
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Scrape out your pumpkin and stab several holes in it to vent.
Coat the inside with butter and bake for one hour at 350*.

1-2 lbs browned ground beef (depending on how many you're feeding)
rice (depending on how many you're feeding)
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper

Mix together and put it inside the pumpkin to bake for an additional hour.

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Zombie Juice
3 quarts apple juice
2 cans Sprite
1 latex glove filled with water and food coloring- frozen

Linked To:
- See more at:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Linky#6 Spooky Spiderweb Pizza

This actually happened by accident, but it turned out cute and I had to share.  I was making pizza and was ready to finish up with the cheese when I realized all we had in the fridge was string cheese!  So I improvised and used the string cheese...  and I got thinking, this looks like a spider web.  So then I sliced up some olives and made them into little spiders.

Note: after you bake it and the cheese melts closer together, so remember that when you're laying out the cheese and be sure to leave space.

Hope everyone is having a great Fall so far with lots of fun Halloween adventures.  If you have Halloween or Fall things to share on the link up that would be great, but anything family friendly goes.

Our linky winner last week was grilled-chicken-brusketta at Chaos With A Curve be sure to check it out!
Thanks for linking up.

For our drinky this week I wanted to feature this great IDEA.  I tried it this Summer and thought it was pretty awesome.  Although this time of year, I think I'd keep it warm/hot...
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Liked To:

Fluster Buster

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Winner of the Linky & Drinky #4

Holy brain fart.
Do you ever have those day's when you really start to wonder about yourself?
Is my blonde hair really shining through?  It's possible.

Did I smoke a bunch of pot in high school and forget about it?
No, but you would think so for as dumb as I've been today.

Did having 3 kids kill all my brain cells?!  Most likely.

So far today I've tried to get in someone else's van thinking it was mine.

Walked into the men's restroom.   Thank the Lord nobody was in there!!!

Posted my linky party late- and then I realized I didn't announce the winner from last week.  I'm super sorry about my case of Ditz.

It's a good thing I've got another desk job lined up, I really suck at this blogging stuff.  Apparently all the reading I've been catching up on isn't giving me any brain power.

On a positive note:  Last week's link up was the best one yet.  So maybe I should cut myself a little slack.

The link with the most views last week was ALMOND MILK ICE CREAM
from Making Our Sustainable Life  Thanks for linking up and congratulations!

Lunch Linky & Drinky #5

Staying home with little ones or sending picky eaters off to school can be challenging when it comes to lunch.
Left overs get boring, and it's hard enough to get kids to eat their dinner the first time.
I cant do sandwiches everyday either.
So here is my attempt at making lunch better.

Mini Kabobs
You could still use lunch meat and cheese, even bread if you wanted.  Pickles, olives, cherry tomatoes or whatever kinds of veggies your kids like.  You could do fruit and cheese too.
Or a pizza theme with pepperoni, olives and mozzarella.  Just slide it on toothpicks. 

Birds Nest
Build a nest out of spaghetti noodles/ or lettuce leaves and hard boiled eggs made to look like little birdies.
Use little pieces of carrots and olives for beak and eyes.
See inspiration HERE

Rainbow sandwich  or color themed...  You could pack a lunch in an egg carton picking a different color for each place or everything all the same color. 

Home style lunch-able
Sometimes making it "mini" is fun for the kids and switching out bread for crackers makes it seem all new and different. 

Slice up celery, carrots or bell peppers if your kids will eat them.  Whatever you can come up with for them to dip.  Could be hot dogs, chicken nuggets or bread sticks.   Give them different dipping options such as ranch, peanut butter or humus.

For more ideas, see my Pinterest board "If it gets my kids to eat better"...

And for our "drinky" this week try out this warm caramel-apple-cider!
4 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons caramel syrup
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix it all in together---stir, and cook on low for about 4 hours. 
Leftovers refrigerate and reheat well 

I also have a "juice" board on Pinterest.

Feel free to pin anything (family friendly) lunch ideas, snacks or drinks are especially welcome.  If you could link back to this post in your post I'd appreciate it a bunch.  I will pin each entry on Pinterest and announce the winner next week, so be sure to check back and see if it was you!
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Linked To:
Think%2520Tank%2520Thursday Welcome to Think Tank Thursday #51
Whip It Up Wednesday Handmade Linky Party

Fluster Buster

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cook with coupons

Now that' I'm staying home we've got to be a lot more frugal around here.
I've actually been when of those "coupon people" for a while.  I've gotten pretty good at it.
So I thought I'd share my successes and failures with coupon-ing.

Where to start...
There are a lot of ways to use coupons.
Everybody seems to adjust to what works best for them.

Things that work for me~
being organized
shopping the adds
meal planning
using a free website that does the hard work for you such as Grocery Smarts or pinching your penny
building your pantry/storage when things are on sale
or freezing food then "shopping from your starge"
double up your "winning" with store incentive programs- like Walgreen's register rewards
understanding store's coupon policies
subscribing to more than one paper- using multiple coupons (still only one coupon/item)

Things that don't work~
buying stuff (you're not going to use) just because it's on sale
or just using your coupons because you have them
letting your coupons expire
not reading your coupons- matching up the right products

A few things most people don't know about coupons:
The grocery stores make money off your coupons too.
If you donate what's left of your news paper others can benefit from it too, ask around.

Linked To:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Linky & Drinky #4

I was feeling "Fall vibes" yesterday. So we made homemade root beer. It's kind of become a tradition for us to do that this time of year.  Our friends got us started several years ago so my oldest was mad at me for doing it without them.  Shame on me!  We will have to make another batch with them I guess.

...Dry Ice...
enough said

 For me, it's worth making just to see the looks on their cute faces.
They yummy root beer is just a bonus.
It's kinda magical for the kids.
They LOVE it.

To make the root beer you basically need: water, sugar, dry ice and root beer extract.
Depending on the brand of extract you buy the ingredients may vary a little.  There is a recipe with the exact amounts on the bottle.  
 The only tricky part to this, is having a big enough container to make it in.  We like to make a big batch and then save the left over in recycled milk jugs.  You could share the leftovers with friends, or if you wanted to be a greedy butt you could probably even freeze it. 

 I also made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies... and we had apples dipped in caramel. We drug out the Halloween decorations from storage and my two year old tried on every costume we had.

Easiest cookies ever= package of spice cake mix + small can of pumpkin pie + chocolate chips= yummy.
Bake at 375* for about 9 minutes.  They are like fluffy little clouds of deliciousness.

And as if we didn't have enough treats, I bought two bags of candy while I was grocery shopping.

I'd love to have anyone link up with anything (family friendly that is) this week.
Last week was a bummer with only one link up.  So this week I'm leaving it open with no theme- share whatever you'd like!  I'm also going to leave the party open until next week.  Invite your friends to come link up with us.

 Linked To:

Fluster Buster
The Chicken Chick